5 Lessons the Pandemic has Taught us About Living in a Life Plan Community
After several months of living through the turbulence of a world-wide pandemic, we’re beginning to see certain lessons emerge. Some of these lessons have been clear and easily learned, like how crisis often brings out heroes willing to sacrifice their time and energy (and in some cases health) to help those around them. Or just how small and interconnected our world is as it relates to the rapidity with which the COVID virus spread.
Other lessons, however, haven’t been quite as readily apparent. But that doesn’t make them any less important to learn as we attempt to understand the pandemic and all its effects. One such instance is retirement. With thousands of senior adults weighing their options on how, when, and where to retire, perhaps the biggest question of late has been: “What effect has this had on senior living?” Below are a few lessons the pandemic has taught us about living in a Life Plan Community.
- LIFE’S A JOURNEY, NOT A RACE
We live in a world that is constantly on the go—often at a breakneck pace. We are continually under pressure to be productive, to compete, and to never take a breather. While this mentality has its merits for producing various successes, it also has a way of wearing us down in every way possible. More specifically, it can be especially hard to enjoy the beauty of life if we’re too busy racing through it.
Lesson: John Lennon sang, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” That sage lyric reminds us of the need to push pause every now and then and appreciate where we’re at, rather than worry about where we’re going. Many people have made the decision to make a Life Plan Community their home for life, allowing them to live to the fullest, one day at a time. By providing maintenance-free living, access to a continuum of healthcare and wellness services, endless opportunities for meaningful social interactions, and financial freedom and security, residents find they’re no longer weighed down by uncertainty for what lies ahead. Instead, they’re making every moment of their retirement count, while relaxing in the confidence of a secure future.
- WE ARE SOCIAL CREATURES
Psychologists have been saying it for years—we have an inherent need to be around other people and share experiences. Research has consistently shown that people who are more socially connected are generally happier and healthier as a result. This fact has become even more clear as we’ve experienced the social withdrawals associated with lockdown orders or social distancing mandates.
Lesson: The current pandemic has taught us many things about ourselves and the communities we live in, specifically how critical the “village” mentality is for our well-being and self-worth. We are realizing, perhaps now more than ever, how necessary it is to be surrounded by friends and loved ones, to be able to shake hands, to hug, or to intimately share experiences together. Even in the midst of a world-wide pandemic, Life Plan Communities offer a vibrant village of possibility. Residents relish opportunities to be connected with other seniors in their same stage of life and experience the sense of unity and belonging—even if at a temporary distance. After all, being on lockdown within a community is better than being isolated by yourself.
- HEALTH AND WELLNESS ARE IMPORTANT
As many around the world adjust to life at home or the reality of limited access to health services and medications, the need to take care of our physical selves has never been more vital. Taking care of ourselves doesn’t just enable us to fight COVID, but any illness, as well.
Lesson: Maintaining or even improving health and fitness are a big component of successful aging. As such, Life Plan Communities are making a concerted effort to provide residents with easy access to a host of services and amenities specifically designed to help them live actively, especially in these times of limited activity. These services span from restaurants, fitness centers, and personal interest clubs that aid in developing healthy diet and lifestyle habits to providing onsite access to healthcare services and pharmacy fulfillment. After all, taking care of yourself now is the best way to help your body and mind fight for you later.
- MENTAL HEALTH IS IMPORTANT
The pandemic has forced many of us to alter our day-to-day lives. Now we have to deal with being confined or even restricted on what we can or can’t do. We have to cope with boredom or going stir-crazy in our homes. We have to limit our social interactions. We also have to manage exacerbated fears and uncertainties. All of this can play a major factor on our stress and anxiety.
Lesson: Mental health is an integral part of our overall health and well-being. As such, it needs to be continually and openly addressed. In spite of the trying events surrounding the pandemic, Life Plan Communities are combatting the effects of mental distress by offering peace of mind and comfort for residents, as well as their family and loved ones. By providing a community of support that includes daily activities, educational webinars, convenient on-site amenities, opportunities for safe social interaction, regular health and nutrition care, and more, many people are finding their move to a Life Plan Community to be an opportunity for maintaining normalcy under better, healthier circumstances than they might experience elsewhere.
- CHANGE IS PART OF LIFE, AND THAT’S OKAY
The term “new normal” has been used since this pandemic saga first began. But for many of us, it’s been more encouraging to think everything would magically spring back to the “old normal” after a few weeks. However, as limitations and restrictions extend, companies adjust business plans, or people modify daily routines, it’s becoming apparent that some things have irreversibly changed, for better or worse. But change isn’t always something to be feared.
Lesson: Even before the pandemic uprooted our way of life, many senior adults brushed off the idea of moving into a Life Plan Community, largely because of a reluctance to leave their familiar life behind. And who can blame them? A decision to move is a significant life change. However, if the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that we’re resilient and can handle change—and with change comes new opportunities. Residents who have since made their move to a Life Plan Community are finding that, not only are they capable of such a life-changing event, but the tradeoff for peace of mind, fulfillment, and security greatly outweighs the inconvenience of downsizing or the perceived need to remain fixed in the familiar life.
With so much uncertainty in the world, it can be difficult to make decisions regarding your retirement or where you choose to retire. As you evaluate the options available to you, hopefully the lessons and information provided will help guide you in your future retirement living decisions. For more information about the benefits of moving into a Life Plan Community, visit us online today.